Thursday, 4 July 2013

revealing the atelier / workshop downstairs

It is about time to tell you what is going on in the garage downstairs. I know that some of my readers were getting quite curious.

When we moved to Luxembourg, A was ecstatic to have his own garage again and last autumn he started building a boat. It's a wooden boat that is called a Weekender and can be used on any lake or river (not a seafaring boat). He bought the drawings when we lived in Denmark, not knowing if he would ever have the chance to use them. With his primitive working tools he has spent all his spare time in the garage and now the structure of the boat is ready (he used the drawings he bought but also added his own ideas). Currently, he is applying a special cloth to its hull, which he then seals with epoxy to completely seal the wood.

I don't know if these photos do the boat justice, but it is looking really good and it looks so much bigger than it does in the photos. A few people have already been downstairs to admire it. I don't know when we will be able to launch it, we are in no hurry to do so, as this is simply something for the family to enjoy in the future.

The work on the boat intrigued A to visit an old dream of his, to own a wood working machine, which he could use to pretty much design and build whatever he likes. I don't know how often we have been looking at furniture in stores and I have told A that he could build a more beautiful piece for even less money, depending on the wood. "If I only had the right machine," has usually been his reply. We are very interested in rustic furniture with certain elegance and it's difficult to find these things. We need a few pieces in our home, especially a console table for our hallway. I am not going to tell you how many consoles I have viewed in the last months and either they are too big or too small or way too expensive. We are still looking for garden furniture because we haven't found anything within our price range that really suits our needs.

To make a long story short, we decided to take A's dream to the next level and buy a real wood working machine to design the things we needed and also to set up our own small business: to create our own production, a line of furniture, garden furniture and kitchen accessories, like cutting boards and trays. After quite a research, A bought a used Felder machine in Germany and it was shipped to Luxembourg recently - it's quite some piece, a little over 700 kilos (about 1545 lbs.). Now that we have the machine, we are throwing ideas back and forth all the time and when they have been defined and refined the actual work will start. I guess the process of the design will happen organically and we will play with many ideas before nailing down a specific line of furniture and accessories.

A few weeks back I was telling A that I couldn't find any wooden bangles that suited me. I'm not exactly the jewellery type and most of the time I wear my wedding ring only. However, I have been searching for a bangle and either the design is a bit off or the quality is just not good enough. No offence to the Chinese, but I cannot stand all that mass-produced made-in-China stuff. I asked him if we could maybe add bangles to our production.

Without telling me he purchased another machine, which he also felt we needed, as it makes the polishing of smaller items much easier. Then on a beautiful Sunday he gave me this bracelet as a pre-birthday present. For the production he used two types of wood and to pop it up he added a bit of greenish/turquoise colour. It suits my eyes and skin tone perfectly and I haven't taken it off.

Later I asked him if he could make another one, wider and made of dark wood only. He got full artistic freedom to design it as he pleased and this is the outcome.

Last Friday I broke my third pizza slicer; my favourite one that had a bigger blade than my other two. This is probably bound to happen when one has a Friday-pizza tradition - tools are put to very good use! Anyway, instead of buying yet another one, A took the blade downstairs and yesterday he presented me with a new pizza slicer, made of two types of wood which he designed and made himself. It will probably last a lifetime!

Tomorrow I'm using it for the first time!

The design of my console is still on my desk and I feel my ideas getting more and more concentrated. It will have a rustic feel to it but I haven't decided which wood to use. Currently A is getting used to his new machines and right now he's designing a stool from hardwood, which can also be used as an end table. That will be the first actual furniture he builds with the Felder machine. I will show it to you when it's ready.

Thank you for visiting and reading. Have a wonderful day! And to my American readers I say Happy 4th July!

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt


  1. Lisa, I don't think I've ever enjoyed a post on your blog so much. A's talent and your eye for beauty are a sure recipe for success.

    I'm glad to finally see more photos of the boat. It looks beautiful! And there it is again, your gorgeous bangle that I've been thinking of since you sent me the photo. It's so unique! And the new one is beautiful too, very elegant. Let me know when the designer starts to take orders. :)

  2. I originally read this post on my iphone this morning, and after breakfasting came back to read it once more on my laptop so I could appreciate the images in their full glory :) I agree with the comment above - this is one of my favorite posts! The bangles are absolutely stunning - and the best part is, they were made with love just for you! And the pizza cutter is beautiful - I adore the mixture of different types of wood.

    Of course, I have just let Hayk forget the fact that your husband built you a house before - now I will remind him that there is a boat in the works and bangles anytime you like ;) Can he come apprentice in A's workshop?

    I think your joint venture will be absolutely brilliant - there will be shipping to the USA, right? :)

  3. Lisa I am so amazed at the talent and enthusiasm portrayed in this lovely post.
    The items your husband has already made are so beautiful, congratulations!
    I wish you both every success with your new and brilliant venture:)

  4. Thank you ladies for your kind words, they warmed the heart of the designer who happens to be in the workshop right now working on something ;-)

  5. Ah, I just saw this--can I add a pizza slicer to my order :)

    xo Mary Jo

  6. What a beautiful post - my husband is so jealous right now (I read him an excerpt of your post)... he's thinking of ways to accommodate a boat inside our house then take out the doors (2 big floor to ceiling sliding doors), and launch it somewhere (a big imagination!).
    Good luck with your wonderful venture - I know it'll be a great success! :)

  7. How exciting Lisa! I love that first bangle with the touch of green. Looking forward to seeing the new designs you both come up with x


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